Eloise Smart

Hotel La Casa

  • Where:Seoul
  • Why:Sussing Seoul for six fun days.
  • When:November 2013
  • Who:Me + my Seoul mate.
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Flame trees. Take that Barnsey.

LOUNGE: Baubles just never looked so good. READING MATTER: Novella, anyone?

Dinner party, anyone?

Sweet, colourful dreams are made of these.

I wonder, can I try this at home with my Encyclopedia Britannicas?

SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP: Seoul shopping is bad-ass. This is the MMMG store stocking Freitag, Lamy, You.Great. MMM MMM….

Temples of gold.

Enter at your peril.

NICE DIGS.

Gorgeous detailing not yet seen on ‘Grand Designs.’

KITTY CAT-FE.

KITTY CAT-FE : Seoul (weirdos) can pay for an outrageously priced tea in exchange for a pat of a range of (fat, ugly, smelly) cats. Probably the most uncomfortable 15 minutes of my life. And I’m a cat lover.

Up around Samcheongdong they like to paint a few walls.

Seoul Lantern Festival tells the story of their heroines, heros and villains in life-size lanterns on the river. Epic.

The Seoul Lantern Festival.

The Seoul Lantern Festival.

Bibimbap is the heavenly combination of rice, chicken, veggies which is hot, steaming, and perfect for wintry Seoul days.

These gentle hills turn dizzying colours in autumn. Enough to make your instagram explode.

Up in Insadong on a Saturday you can find the local uni student’s handicrafts from bags to badges.

Local schoolgirls dress up to channel their ancestors.

Seoul kids are cute.

Food at Psy’s Mom’s place, Kuai 19.

CAFFEINE ADDICTS: One of the cutest cups we had in Seoul’s many, many coffee shops.

La Casa Entrance: Casa sweet casa.

Highs & Lows

  • Literary surrounds – I’m a sucker for a stack of books and a ladder to reach them, so this foyer entry truly had me at hello.

  • Location - Seoul has ‘spots’ so to find a hotel as high-quality as this, right in the middle of the Gangnam action is a treat. Warning: do not venture out to the local convenience store in your jim jams... the blogger paps do prey in this area.

  • Oppa Gangnam Style - If you were Psy, you would probably need a few more Swarovksis stuck to your door handle to stay here, but as we’re not, and you’re not, this is a damn fine stamp of Seoul style in the center of where it’s at.

  • Bathroom goodies - when you google “what skincare do French women swear by?” this is the answer: “Caudalie.” So when you step into the shower, feel French and fabulous.

  • Fitness – new, clean, spacious, easy.

  • Room size - the Deluxe Double is the smallest room and a touch bare in its furnishings… we’d recommend the Business Double room and up. More bling.

The Barometer

  • Design

  • Website

  • Environmental Consciousness

  • Night's Sleep

  • Service

  • Amenities

  • Takeable Treats

  • Refer a Friend

  • Overall Value

  • Life Changing

Total: 46/50

Important Bits

  • Type

    Modern, homely hotel good enough for Psy.

  • Vibe

    Your ideal Scandinavian home. In Asia.

  • Location

    Nestled in the top, left corner of trendy Sinsadong in Gangnam.

  • Rooms

    61

  • Music

    None.

  • Year Opened

    Recent.

  • Designed By

    Italian furniture design company Casamia, who has a dangerously good store next door.

  • Pool/Gym

    Well equipped gym with running machines, pilates balls to fall off, and a view to the pretty park.

  • Restaurant

    Yes.

  • Bar

    No.

  • Children

    A one year old was having a rager in the loft area, but in general I’d say the less low flying objects, the better.

  • Price

    Good value for location and to feel like you’re in a cosy home, not a carbon copy hotel.

The top floor atrium is available with full dinner table, which can be catered for externally or from the Mia Casa restaurant downstairs. But if you need a quick meal head down to the divine Allo Paper Cafe for brunch, Ikovox flat white, or a mean Korean BBQ at Psy’s mom’s restaurant Kuai 19.

For those wanting a spot to throw a party or host a private event

527-2 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

The top floor atrium is available with full dinner table, which can be catered for externally or from the Mia Casa restaurant downstairs. But if you need a quick meal head down to the divine Allo Paper Cafe for brunch, Ikovox flat white, or a mean Korean BBQ at Psy’s mom’s restaurant Kuai 19.

La Casa’s gym on the second floor has ample apparatus’ to choose from, or it’s a short run down to the Hermes Dorean Park (named so for the huge Hermes hut dwarfing the maple trees). Group running is big here in Seoul so if you need a pair of new runners head to the unmarked Nike store ‘round the corner.

For those needing to work it off

527-2 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

La Casa’s gym on the second floor has ample apparatus’ to choose from, or it’s a short run down to the Hermes Dorean Park (named so for the huge Hermes hut dwarfing the maple trees). Group running is big here in Seoul so if you need a pair of new runners head to the unmarked Nike store ‘round the corner.

Hotel La Casa

527-2 Sinsa-dong, Seoul, South Korea

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